Supplier Development Programme Provides Free Training to South Lanarkshire Early Learning and Childcare Providers
In June and July 2019, more than 120 South Lanarkshire businesses were given vital support by South Lanarkshire Council, through the Supplier Development Programme, to make sure they are ready to tender to provide more free childcare places to local families.
In order to meet the Scottish Government’s pledge to increase free childcare hours from 600 per year to 1,140 by August 2020, South Lanarkshire Council will shortly be going out to tender for delivery of additional Early Learning and Childcare Services. The Supplier Development Programme and South Lanarkshire Council have been working together to help local business prepare for the tendering process.
Now more than 120 local childcare providers who may have limited or no experience in bidding for a contract have benefitted from three specialist, local training sessions to help SMEs apply and bid for this contract opportunity. During these evening training sessions, representatives from South Lanarkshire Council’s Early Years and the Procurement team discussed the requirements for the tender.
The Supplier Development Programme provided free training on Public Contracts Scotland Tender – the service through which childminders and nurseries will apply and bid for the tender to deliver the Early Learning and Childcare Services for the Council. South Lanarkshire Council’s proactive approach to planning for the increase in child care hours available, along with its support offered through the Supplier Development Programme to potential child care providers, means the local authority is on track to deliver the full amount of hours by 2020.
The three training sessions were held in Rutherglen on 26 June, Hamilton on 27 June 2019 and Lanark on 1 July 2019.
One attendee said: “I had no experience with public sector tendering, but after the SDP training, I’m much clearer about what is required for the childcare tender in South Lanarkshire and how it will link into national standards.”
South Lanarkshire Council Chair of Finance and Corporate Resources, Councillor Gladys Miller, said: “We are delighted that the Supplier Development Programme has jointly delivered training for local childcare providers with the Council. “I do recognise that many smaller local businesses may not have previous experience in tendering for public sector contracts and can only benefit from the training and insight being offered by the Supplier Development Programme and South Lanarkshire Council procurement. I hope these businesses now feel sufficiently well prepared to take part in the future tendering opportunity that will be provided.”
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